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Breaking the Bad News About Bad Breath

August 13, 2010

Filed under: Dental Facts — admin @ 9:45 am

We found a great article about “Breaking the Bad News About Bad Breath.”

It’s an uncomfortable situation we’ve all faced. A friend, coworker or loved one has bad breath. I’m not talking about a faint whiff of garlic the morning after a clams casino binge. One-off offenses like that can – and often should – pass without comment. What I’m referring to is the kind of full-blown “Dude, did something die in your mouth?” chronic halitosis that has the stopping power of a .44 magnum.

Someone has to say something and unfortunately that someone is you.

What’s your game plan? Chronic halitosis is an interpersonal nightmare that’s only made worse when the offending party has no idea there’s an issue. Over the years, I’ve had to break the bad news about bad breath a dozen or so times. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Subtle Hints – Offering someone mints or gum every single time you see them may eventually clue them in on the state of their bad breath. Unfortunately, the subtle approach takes forever and rarely works.

The Coward’s Way – Sending an anonymous note or e-mail containing bad breath is another strategy … one that’s guaranteed to make the person with halitosis totally paranoid. Leaving a bottle of mouthwash on a coworker’s desk is no better and may get you written up by HR.

Stage an Intervention – Gathering a group to confront the bad breath sufferer is uncomfortable and humiliating for all involved. The hard feelings never go away (I’m sorry, Ted).

Cowboy Up – Informing people privately and politely that their bad breath is a problem isn’t fun but it is surprisingly effective. I’ve done this several times and in every instance my halitosis-challenged friends were genuinely grateful for the heads up.

There’s only one thing worse than having to tell people you care about that they have halitosis. And that is to be on the receiving end of the message. If it’s ever happened to you, you’ll appreciate the importance of handling this delicate matter directly, respectfully and discretely.

This article was from the “Dental Blog Dentist Love.”

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